Group casts doubt on Amazon’s claims of reducing plastic

Dec 14, 2022, 11:00 PM | Updated: Dec 15, 2022, 4:26 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A report by environmental group Oceana has found that plastic waste from Amazon packages went up by 18% last year, but Amazon says it has reduced its use of single-use plastic across its network.

According to the Oceana’s estimates, released Thursday, Amazon’s plastic waste jumped from 599 million pounds in 2020 to 709 million pounds last year — an amount that can circle the planet more than 800 times in the form of air pillows, the group said.

For years, the advocacy organization has been pushing the company to release more data around its plastic footprint and commit to reducing any harmful environmental impacts that might stem from it. That idea was put up for a vote two times at Amazon’s annual shareholders meetings during the past two years. The last vote, held in May, got support from 48% of shareholders.

But the e-commerce behemoth had resisted calls to release more data until Tuesday, when it disclosed in a blog post that it used 97,222 metric tons (over 214 million pounds) of single-use plastic last year to ship orders to customers. Amazon also said it was able to reduce the average weight of plastic in a shipment by over 7% but it did not disclose if its overall plastic footprint grew between 2020 and 2021, when it was seeing a boom in sales due to the pandemic.

“While we are making progress, we’re not satisfied,” the company said in the blog post. “We have work to do to continue to reduce packaging, particularly plastic packaging that’s harder to recycle, and we are undertaking a range of initiatives to do so.”

Matt Littlejohn, Oceana’s senior vice president for strategic initiatives, said it was good that Amazon released some data, but the figures it released don’t tell the whole story.

The company’s total data includes plastic used in shipments Amazon fulfills through its warehouses and other parts of its business, such as Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh. But it leaves out what’s used by third-party merchants who sell items on Amazon but don’t use the company’s fulfillment services.

Saige Kolpack, an Amazon spokesperson, said the company’s data reflect most of the plastic used to ship orders to customers because the “significant majority” of items shipped are fulfilled by Amazon. Kolpack declined to say how many of the nearly 2 million merchants who sell on Amazon use its fulfillment services.

The company has also said it offers incentives to get third-party sellers to ship items to customers in the manufacturer’s original packaging, instead of using additional packaging.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Elon Musk departs the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Court House in San Francisc...
Associated Press

Elon Musk’s mysterious ways on display in Tesla tweet trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk’s enigmatic personality and unconventional tactics are emerging as key exhibits in a trial revolving around one of his most polarizing pursuits — tweeting. The trial, centered on a pair of tweets announcing Musk had obtained the money to take Tesla private in 2018, reeled the 51-year-old billionaire into a […]
13 hours ago
FILE - House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., pauses during a break in the taping of an interview ...
Associated Press

Biden, McCarthy to discuss debt limit in talks on Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Sunday he is looking forward to discussing with President Joe Biden a “reasonable and responsible way that we can lift the debt ceiling ” when the two meet Wednesday for their first sit-down at the White House since McCarthy was elected to the post. McCarthy, R-Calif., said […]
13 hours ago
A resident of Salinas, considered one of the most contaminated towns in Puerto Rico, waits for a me...
Associated Press

Puerto Rico’s southern region fights for cleaner air, water

SALINAS, Puerto Rico (AP) — Shuttered windows are a permanent fixture in Salinas, an industrial town on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast that is considered one of the U.S. territory’s most contaminated regions. For years, toxic ash and noxious chemicals from coal-fired and thermoelectric power plants have enveloped this community, and residents have complained about health […]
13 hours ago
People lay flowers to commemorate British volunteers Chris Parry and Andrew Bagshaw, killed in Ukra...
Associated Press

Russia alleges Ukraine war crimes; friends mourn volunteer

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Friends and volunteers gathered Sunday at Kyiv’s St Sophia’s Cathedral to say goodbye to Andrew Bagshaw, a New Zealand scientist who was killed in Ukraine while he and another volunteer who also died tried to evacuate people from a front-line town. Bagshaw, 48, a dual New Zealand-British citizen, and British volunteer […]
13 hours ago
Jessie Blanchard's jeep bumper holds a sticker with the slogan "Yes We Narcan" on Monday, Jan. 23, ...
Associated Press

Experts urge better opioid rescue drug access to save lives

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — Jessie Blanchard started small nearly five years ago, just trying to get enough of the rescue drug naloxone that reverses opioid overdoses to keep her daughter from dying from an overdose. She pleaded with colleagues at the college where she’s an adjunct teacher in Albany, Georgia, to use their prescription benefits […]
13 hours ago
Qatar's Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, right, shakes hands with Lebane...
Associated Press

Qatar replaces Russian company in Lebanon gas exploration

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon, two international oil giants and state-owned oil and gas company Qatar Energy signed an agreement Sunday that the Qatari firm will join a consortium that will search for gas in the Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon’s coast. The deal inked in Beirut brings Qatar into Lebanon’s gas exploration market three months after […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Group casts doubt on Amazon’s claims of reducing plastic